May 1887 –Almonte Gazette
The municipality of Qu’Appelle offered fifty cents for gophers’ tails. The clerk of the municipality has been kept busy paying out the bounty. Parties who were out shooting lately got quite a number of gophers minus their tails.The explanation now is that the Indians snare the gophers, take the tails off, and let the gopher go so as to grow another tail for next year’s bounty. The untutored children of the prairie gopher of our municipality are in good shape .
In the early history of our province, there were all kinds of gophers, millions of them. The municipalities tried to get rid of them, as they were destroying the crops. So they offered any person one cent for every gopher tail. In the era of the Depression, there were very few students that had any money. So it was a good thing for them to kill gophers. Kill 10 gophers, they made 10 cents, and 10 cents in those days would’ve bought a lot.
So every person who lived through the Depression has killed gophers, drowned them. Their tails are sensitive and are used as feelers when the animals travel backward in their burrows.Amateur biology tried to see if they’d grow another gopher tail and they’d nip off the tail the gopher had and let them free. They would watch out, and see if the gopher would mutate another gopher tail, but they never did. They even split gopher tails to try outdo each other in the municipality.